How to Generate More Referrals Automatically

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1 How to Generate More Referrals Automatically

2 BLUELEAF S ALL-IN-ONE CLIENT ENGAGEMENT SOFTWARE... BRINGS YOUR REPORTING & DATA WORLDS TOGETHER IN ONE, POWERFUL, INTEGRATED PACKAGE ACCOUNT AGGREGATION CLIENT PORTAL ON-DEMAND PAPERLESS REPORTING BEAUTIFUL CLIENT PORTAL INTEGRATED ACCOUNT AGGREGATION ELIMINATES MANUAL DATA ENTRY PERFORMANCE REPORTING DOCUMENT SHARING VIDEO DEMO 30 DAY FREE TRIAL SIMPLE BILLING CLIENT ANALYTICS

3 Referrals are Great, but Tough to Grow Predictably Keeping clients happy is smart business. It s 5 times easier (and less expensive) for an advisor to keep an existing client than to attract a new one. So why aren t you putting a majority of your effort on creating client relationships strong enough to drive referral? Client relationships take time to mature and need regular attention in order to grow strong. Once they are developed, however, these relationships are a powerful way to grow your business. In addition to delivering the bulk of your current revenue, happy clients who feel valued and respected are also more likely to talk about your business and refer people they know. Happy clients may refer someone they know, but it s unpredictable. We need to be in clients consciousness when they recognize a need in someone else. Then feel excited enough about the value we ve delivered to them in order to send someone to us. That can be a tall order, especially as we grow. Creating and executing a repeatable, measurable system for client happiness & referral is hard. While sending your clients a note once-in-a-while is simple, sending every client regular communications that effectively develop we ll talk about the problems with traditional approaches. Then we ll give you some new ways to think about these issues and a plan to get started with a repeatable, measure repeatable, measurable system today. One to One Communications Are Not Scalable As you know, client relationships can be built in a variety of ways: in person, on the phone, on your website, through your staff, through the mail and with . The thing is, as you grow, you begin to realize that relying on these one to one communication methods becomes overwhelming. The only realistic way to stay in front of so many clients at once is to combine automated communication tools with a more strategic use of your one to one approaches. The simplest and least expensive tool you have to automate your communication today is .

4 A nurturing campaign is a series of communications designed to develop a designed to help you deepen your client relationships by providing content that THEY can range from weekly updates on how their accounts are doing (which is handled automatically by Blueleaf as a built in feature), to a monthly newsletter, to a link to an interesting article, to a personal video from you explaining a time, and the more successful your business will be. 12 Touches a Year Isn t Going to Cut It understand how their clients prefer to be ed. The survey found that 30.4% of clients prefer weekly s from their advisor, 36.6% prefer them monthly, only 19.9% prefer s quarterly, and a mere 9.4% prefer them annually. The research is clear. Clients want to be ed, and often. Blueleaf s own behavioral data shows that over 60% of clients will open and read a relevant weekly about their situation and almost 90% will open that same once per month. In fact, we ve found that advisors who are the most successful in growing their business will their clients even MORE than once per week. We spoke with Jason Wenk, Founder and President of Retirement 50% per year. He reported reaching out to clients at least times per year. This translates into a minimum of 12.5 touches per month, 4 of which are handled automatically with his weekly Blueleaf [Learn why weekly Blueleaf s are successful this impressive rate, we know he s on to something. How do advisors like Jason manage to reach all of their clients so frequently without becoming annoying? Well, remember that a touch can be delivered in various ways: in person, via , phone, social media, or

5 traditional mail. By mixing push and pull methods like and blogging consume what they like and happily skip the rest. This kind of frequent contact powerfully reminds client of your value even if some of the content is ignored by some clients. The more clients feel you re delivering value to them, the happier they ll be. The happier your clients, the more likely they are to give referrals which reaching out to your clients, be aware that other advisors are. It s naïve to think that if they re in your book, they re your client forever. Once you ve invested in a client relationship, you have to protect your investment if you want to prosper in the long run. Of course the only way to deliver this volume of client touches is via automation. Let s talk about how. Getting Started creating a communication calendar. On the calendar, plan out the types of content you want to send each month, so when a new month arrives, you re ready with a plan. We ve provided a sample client communication calendar on the next page. [Click on the image on the next page to download your own

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7 Don t feel overwhelmed by the volume of content. Thanks to automation, these campaigns will run themselves. This kind of set and forget system will allow you to focus on other efforts for scaling your business and simply add There are plenty of systems available to use, like MailChimp (which integrates with Redtail) or icontact, and there are also more comprehensive marketing systems that include management, such as Hubspot. All these tools will guide you in setting up a nurturing campaign. The systems work by delivering messages to your clients at regularly scheduled intervals. All you have to do is decide what kind of information you want to send and at what interval you want to send them, and the system handles the rest for you. These systems also provide helpful information about what happens to your s once they are sent. For example, in Hubspot you can see how many people open, forward, unsubscribe and click on a link in your . By analyzing the results of your blasts, you can quickly see what kinds of subject lines and content your clients enjoy, and which ones end up in the trash. [Rule of Thumb: Generally, an open rate of 15%, a click through rate Personalize Your s with Segmentation Okay, so what do you send in the s? It is incredibly important to take the time to learn about your clients so you can send them s that they care about, will appreciate and respond to. The easiest way to achieve this is by segmenting your clients into different interest groups.

8 A client list can be segmented by basic measures such as age, throughout the year. Think about it, the fact that you re a 43-year-old male living The key is to approach segmentation with the mindset that you will want to identify content topics that are useful and relevant to them. For instance, clients with children entering or enrolled in college could be put into one list. These clients will appreciate content about student loans, tips for talking with students about responsible spending, etc. Here are more examples of potential client list segmentation that would allow you to send targeted content: While some advisors have this in-depth information about clients already, don t throw your hands up in defeat if you don t. Go out and get it! Begin to ask segmentation-type questions during client meetings and take notes in your CRM. Another option is writing a quick online survey (check out SurveyMonkey.com) for clients to do at home or on an ipad in the waiting room have to ask. Want a quick way to play around with segmentation ideas? Research LinkedIn, Google, Facebook or Twitter are great sources to learn about clients personal interests and help you understand how to segment them in meaningful ways. The better you know and can segment your client base, the better you can shape an effective message. Once your client list is segmented, the next step is to decide the types of content you ll produce.

9 Use Multiple, Strategic Content Types Another key to a successful nurturing campaign is using multiple, strategic content types. Think beyond a generic quarterly newsletter. Oldfashioned newsletters only deliver 4 touches per year. How about a funny comic strip about saving for college, a client satisfaction survey, a YouTube video about a new alternative investment, a helpful article about the importance of health insurance in retirement? All can be effective options, depending on the characteristics of your client base. Here are some not-so-traditional content types that clients will love: We re not saying that you should abandon all traditional client contact approaches. Consider ways using those tools in addition to your automated client s hobbies and occasionally send them books that match their interests or correspond with a life event such as planning for a wedding, welcoming a grandchild or celebrating a graduation. Birthday cards in the mail are always a nice touch as are other notes sent through US Mail. Just be judicious. There are also a number of advisors that send birthday and holiday cards to their clients as well as to their spouses and children. Whether you take that approach or not, include the entire family in your automated nurturing program. By including the family, you build relationships with your client s family members and are more likely to gain or retain them as clients in the future.

10 The bottom line is to use as many methods to deliver your content as possible, but make sure you re delivering in ways that make sense for your client base. At this point you re ready with segmented client lists, a content calendar, an automated ing tool, and various ideas for content types. Now, roll up those sleeves and write some s! Below we ve outlined ing best practices that will optimize your success. Best Practices How to Optimize your Success 3 top tips for writing s to clients: Speak to your clients in your unique voice. Don t try to write like someone you re not. They know you, trust you and want to recognize your voice. Leave the 25-cent-words out, put in a consistent tone It s what we re doing here, and it makes your reader feel like you re talking directly to him/her. Use words like you and your and write as if you re having a conversation. Keep it simple: our attention. Your s should contain helpful content that is easy to digest. Use short sentences and avoid complex metaphors or 5+ syllable words. When to Send: Research shows that s sent in the morning will have slightly higher open rates. So mornings are a good time to send out something short, like a blog post, or invitation to an event that people can scan as they prepare for their day. The late afternoon has been shown to have higher click through rates, which means this is a good time to send out a survey, or a longer article. The idea is to think about your client s day and tailor what you send and when you send it to achieve optimal open and click through rates.

11 From Line: Try to avoid sending s from a generic company address (ex: The person an comes from should be relevant to the person receiving it. When they recognize your name, they ll be much more likely to open the . Subject Line: The purpose of an s subject line is to entice your clients to open it, a decision they ll make in less than 3 seconds. Your subject line should describe what s inside the in a descriptive, compelling way. For example, a standard subject line may be: Quarterly Newsletter. A better subject line is: Advisor X s Q3 Insights for the Aggressive Investor. Word to the wise: There is such a thing as being too compelling, though, so be careful. Subject lines that seem too sell-y can make people think they re being tricked into opening the . For example, subject lines that include your client s name like, Bob, read this are not opened as much as more descriptive subject lines. Test this by reading your subject line aloud and ask yourself, 60% Open Rate Based on Subject Line Length 58% 50% 40% 30% 20% 36% 34% 35% 35% 42% 31% 28% 10% 0% Would I open this if it appeared in my inbox? You should also consider the length of your subject line. A recent study done by Informz shows that subject lines with less than 10 characters result in the highest open rate.

12 Have an engaging opening: way to do that is to open in one of the following ways: Ask a question: When you read a question in a marketing message, do you always think of an answer? Probably not. But a question still registers on a subconscious level and creates engagement. For example, you could start an by saying, Wondering if you ll ever be able to retire? or Worried about the rising cost of education? or Should you buy or rent? Use Other People s Content: No one expects you to write like a Pulitzer Prize Winner. You re an advisor who advises; let the writers write. As long as you give an author credit, feel free to summarize an article and link to it rather than write everything from scratch. Your clients will appreciate you sending them a helpful article and be happy that you spend most of your time managing their money. Call to Action: End each correspondence with a call to action. A call to action could be many anything. Think about it - What do you want the client to do? Perhaps you want them to reach out and schedule a meeting, invite them to check out your most recent blog post, ask them to RSVP to a seminar you re hosting, or refer a friend to your practice. It doesn t matter what the call to action is as long as it is clear and somewhat related to the content of the . Measure the Results: You ve spent time and energy planning and running this nurturing campaign, so be sure to measure the responses you get! Watch how many clients open the (effect of subject line or time you send it) and how many of them click on links (effect of your messaging or the content s relevance to their individual situation). Again, a lot of this results tracking and reporting is built into the ing tools mentioned above.

13 Sample Nurturing Subject Line: Top 5 Money Mistakes College Kids Make Hi Bob and Ann, How are you enjoying this beautiful summer weather? I recently got back September approaching and students preparing to head back to college, I thought it d be a great time to share this helpful article: Top 5 Money Mistakes College Students Make Best, Your Advisor There you have it: A step-by-step guide for building a KILLER nurturing campaign of your own. All of your work and effort today will come back tenfold in the weeks and months to come. Trust the process, commit to your content calendar success, setting you up to build client retention and bring more referrals to your business. Happy ing.

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